Adopting A Shelter Dog: Helping Fido Adjust

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! While there’s no wrong time to adopt a dog—whether it’s from a shelter or any other place—this is a great time to find a new canine companion. Going to a new home is a big change for Fido. In some cases, it can be overwhelming. It may take your furry friend time to settle in. A local Lexington, KY vet offers some tips on helping Fido get through that adjustment phase in this article.

Give It Time

Your pup may need time to feel safe. The 3/3/3 rule is a good guideline: this breaks down doggy adjustment time into stages, noting that Fido needs three days to get used to his surroundings, three days to feel safe, and three months to settle in. However, every dog is different. Pups that have been through trauma may need more time. Just be patient!

Create Stability

Pets really thrive on steady routines. Get Fido started on his new doggy schedule for walks, playtime, and meals as soon as possible.

Keep Things Pawsitive

Fido is a wonderful companion, but that doesn’t mean he’s perfect. Your pup may not have finished his training, and/or  he may have a few bad  habits. Don’t punish your four-legged buddy for mishaps: that may frighten him, confuse him, or make him feel defensive. Focus on rewarding positive behavior. Consult a professional for tips dealing with serious issues, such as fearfulness or food guarding.

Expect The Unexpected

In some cases, shelters have quite a bit of information about their furry wards. Other times, they know very little. While shelters typically do some assessments on dogs, this is really to determine if they have any aggressive tendencies and determine what type of home they are most suited for. Your canine pal may very well have quirks that haven’t been uncovered yet, such as a fear of thunderstorms or a wheat allergy. Pay close attention to your pooch, and keep him leashed or in fenced areas at all times. Petproofing is also important.

Get The Tail Going

Now for the fun part: adopting a shelter dog can be both fun and rewarding. You don’t want to force attention on Fido. However, there’s nothing wrong with pampering him a bit. Lots of toys, treats, walks, belly rubs, and playtime can help your new furry pal realize that he’s safe and loved now. Get that cute tail going! It’s a beautiful experience to see a rescue dog shine with great care.

Do you have questions about your canine friend’s health or care? Contact us, your local Lexington, KY animal hospital, today!

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